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Old 07-27-2011, 05:40 PM   #1
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Default Disadvantage of Large Kettle

Is there any disadvantage to having a very large kettle? For instance, If I bought a 55 gallon kettle to do 30 gallon batches, could I still use it for a 10 gallon batch? Or even a 5 gallon batch? Or is it too large ? What are the drawbacks/issues that would arise?

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:44 PM   #2
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Cleaning it afterwards

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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I would imagine that 5 gallons in a 55 gallon pot would have the same effect as a sauce pan. Your boil off rate would be the same as it is for the larger batches = very high.

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:52 PM   #4
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yeah I think the 55 gallon is a little overkill. Probably looking at something more along the lines of 30 gallons. I like the Blichmann Boilermaker pots.

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Old 07-27-2011, 05:55 PM   #5
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My thinking is that the large surface area on the bottom of the kettle increases the risk of scorching/carameling the wort on smaller boils.

It could also increase boil-off on smaller batches.

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Old 07-27-2011, 06:01 PM   #6
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5 gallons in a 55 gallon boil kettle would only be an issue if the kettle were really, really wide. My BK is 25 gallons and is pretty wide (2.5 feet) and I have no issue doing 5-10 gallon batches. I wouldn't get a kettle that large unless I was going to get some use out of it. It's a pretty expensive piece of equipment, bulky to store, impossible to lift when full of liquid. The only other (small) issue I could think of is the mass of the kettle absorbing heat. I'd imagine it would take a little more time/fuel to bring 5 gallons to a boil in a 55 gallon kettle than in a 15 gallon kettle.

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Old 07-27-2011, 07:19 PM   #7
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It would be kind of tricky to calculate your pre and post boil wort volumes. You'd have about 3 inches of wort in the bottom of most large kettles. I have x3 45 gallon kettles and I know that 5 gallons wouldn't even hit the sight glass level.

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Old 07-27-2011, 08:32 PM   #8
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That is true. It probably doesn't even reach the temperature probe level. Have you ever brewed a 5 or 10 gallon batch on your 45 gallon system?

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Old 07-27-2011, 08:39 PM   #9
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It takes 15 gallons to reach the thermometer stem on a 55 gallon boilermaker.

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Old 07-28-2011, 05:49 AM   #10
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Default 10 gallon batches

Quote:
Originally Posted by HokieHomeBrew View Post
That is true. It probably doesn't even reach the temperature probe level. Have you ever brewed a 5 or 10 gallon batch on your 45 gallon system?
No, I haven't. I could probably do a 10 gallon batch though. I'll post some pics when I get back home (30 days..ish..).
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